In years gone by, nobody would step out of the house without a hat. That all changed decades ago, when pretty much everyone stopped wearing hats.
However, the streetwear scene of the late 80s started to change that. Surfers and skateboarders wanted clothing that allowed them to stay outside for longer. Often, that meant wearing a hat to protect themselves from the heat of the sun and the rain.
It was demand from skateboarders and streetwear fans that re-popularised the baseball cap, in the late 80s. The addition of a plastic strap allowed the hat to be adjusted to fit the head snugly. It was then that they started to be called snapbacks.
Today, it is this style of hat that is worn the most throughout the world. Snapbacks feature heavily in every streetwear brands’ collection.
The evolution of the snapback
Over the years, the shape has changed a little. The cap used to hug the head, which meant that they flattened the hair. Today the shape has changed to solve this problem. These hats are slightly bigger than they used to be with a gap between the head and the fabric. In recent years, the brims have been getting bigger and deeper, but in 2015, that trend reversed, so they are now shrinking again.
The material used in these iconic hats has also evolved. The majority of snapbacks are still made from cotton, but more designers are experimenting with leather and other skins. The form is changing too, with a softer, less structured look becoming more popular.
However, it is no longer all about snapbacks. Streetwear designers are trying to offer something different.
For example, this year the Brixton hats collection includes fedoras. In the past, this was the sort of hat you would have only seen worn with a suit, but things change and they are now included in many streetwear collections.